Under a new policy adopted by Indian Railways, a customer will not have to pay for food and beverages purchased on trains if bill for the same is not provided.This move was taken by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to protect passengers from being overcharged.
By March 31, all the trains where food is purchased by the passengers, will have this message displayed. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has also displayed the same message on its ticket-booking website.
It is reported that most of the catering complaints were related to overcharging. With the new policy, it is expected that the passengers will get a fair deal. About 7000 complaints of overcharging were reported last year between April and October. Under the instruction from Piyush Goyal, strict action against the erring vendors was announced, which included cancellation of licences if the price was not marked on the food boxes. A report stated that two caterers’ contract was terminated and many caterers were fined as many as 5000 times, last year.
According to officials, when asked for bill, many a times the food servers or vendors give excuses like unavailability of bill book and that they will hand over the bill after journey is over or once the food service is over.
According to the Railway Minister, with the new policy, all these will be solved. Indian Railways has even deployed inspectors to check that every transaction is fair and that proper bills are issued to the customers.